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What’s Flammable

For Refugio Ramirez and his family and Mary Turner and her unborn child

For you, I’d do it

#It’s common knowledge that we need it

#You deserve justice

#the time has come

#God will not stop it because after all an eye for an eye

I’d do it if fire, once lit, did not sow destruction

even to cradles, even to warm bottles, even to Tootsie rolls, even first vows, even

quinceañeras, even animal shelters, even to family tables

#I would burn change into being.

I would start with flammable things, such as:

The penises of white men who fetishize brown skin. The meth that killed my friend
Cassandra. The devil in my cousin that tells him he deserves to die. King Leopold’s
body at the stake. The supposed “apology” to the Indigenous Peoples of America. My
mother’s fear of my brother being shot. Donald Trump’s June 5th, 2013 Twitter post. The
scars on my right wrist from my first suicide attempt. The cages of Louisiana State
Penitentiary. The fragile guilt of white women. The Dred Scott case. The internment
camps at the border. The blaspheming lips of every homophobic preacher. Wall Street.
The teacher who struck my father as a child for being sad and hungry. Every white robe
in America. The statues of Christopher Columbus. Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the
United States Constitution. I would burn

# I would burn until the smoke floated to space

#when God looked down, They would see S.O.S smoldering above Earth

#I would burn

Until the banner of our agony unfurled like an orchid.

Kia Addison is a community activist with a BA in English Literature. She has interned for the Portland branch of Literary Arts and Silk Road, a Literary crossroads, and given presentations for the Seattle Holocaust Museum and Walter Arts Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

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